No family is safe from drama, even in the monarchy. This is a concept E!'s first scripted series The Royals plans to dive headfirst into, allowing viewers to get a behind-the-scenes look at the goings on in this fictional British family. And while Elizabeth Hurley's Queen Helena is bound to have a few scandalous moments of her own, the real wild child of the bunch falls to Alexandra Park's rebellious character, Princess Eleanor. Drinking, partying, hooking up with numerous guys — it's safe to say this girl is a tabloid newspaper's dream come true, given all the risqué material she sends their way. But is it possible that Princess Eleanor is based on anyone IRL?
As Prince William and Kate Middleton continually demonstrate, real-life British royals lead a much more respectable life than what the delicious drama The Royals clearly has in store for us. So I very much doubt we can expect to see a grown up Prince George throwing wild keg parties at Buckingham Palace in the future. (Though, if he does, I totally want to be invited.) But is there any chance there's some fact to all this fiction? The most clear-cut answer is no, which came directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
At the New York premiere of The Royals , Park explained to Bustle that she highly doubts the current royal family will be insulted by their performances because it's not based on any real-life counterparts. "I think there’s nothing to be scared of when making a story about a fictional royal family," Park revealed. "It’s of no mockery or imitation of them at all and I hope they get a kick out of it." (Sign me up for that private viewing session! I'll bring the popcorn.)
That being said, I still found myself intrigued by the concept and did a little digging of former royals named Eleanor, and one of them definitely managed to catch my eye. Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most wealthy and powerful women in Europe during the High Middle Ages. She married the King Louise VII of France when she was 15 years old and went on to participate in the Second Crusade. But unlike most marriages back in that time, Eleanor got an annulment from her husband and, within a year, went on to marry King Henry II of England, who was ten years younger than her (she was 30 to his 20).
Sure, this type of stuff isn't exactly on par with the level of scandal we're used to these days, but back then it was much more uncommon for a woman, let alone royalty, to have more than one husband in her lifetime. (Whereas the king could be granted as many mistresses as he wanted without shame. Double standard much?!) Of course, I doubt the writers had this particular person in mind when they wrote up Princess Eleanor's character, but it's still pretty great to see real-life female leaders forego tradition and show off some spunk.
Images: Paul Blundell/E! Entertainment (2); Giphy